Matthew 16:24-27 – “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 25 “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 “For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS.” NASU
Jesus is addressing service or spiritual serving. If we understand the meaning of service as implied and taught in the Bible we realize it is total commitment, full surrender, and making Him Lord of all in our lives. It is to completely give ourselves to Him. That is a lofty objective and one that many tend to draw back from. Why? Some have no desire to get involved, relinquish control of their lives, nor upset the status quo or rock the boat. There are churches that truly have a form of godliness but are totally devoid of power.
I am convinced that we sometimes do not have what we need to achieve our dream, vision, and purpose in this life is because we are lacking in one or more of the Four Necessities for Service. I believe that to Serve God Fully we need four things: Love, Faith, Involvement, and Determination. You can or could add more, I’m sure, but those are the four that are on my heart today.
LOVE IS NECESSARY.
Jesus said in Matthew 22:37-40 – “…’ YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ 38 “This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 “The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ 40 ” On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” That is arresting or should be.
There are two kinds of love that I want to call your attention to. There is human or brotherly love. It is a paternal, maternal, human love. Then there is heavenly love. It is the love of, for, and to God. It is the Agape Love of God shed abroad in the human heart by the Holy Spirit. It is imperative that we develop an Unselfish Love, a love for God that points us toward man with compassion that moves us to action. We need to have manifested love. Love is truly an action word, not just an emotion.
Our Lord was compelled by love. He was ‘moved with compassion’ in His dealing with people. In order to enable us to love as He loved, God has given us a new heart. Love seeks to protect and provide for those loved. The Love of God for man should shine through us in our dealings with others. It is a mark of our Christianity! The message of God’s Love is manifested in our lives as we demonstrate the Love of God.
FAITH IS NECESSARY.
We are reminded in Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the assurance of things hope for, the evidence of things not seen.” I would suggest there are two kinds of faith. There is Dead Faith. It is inactive. It is mental assent rather than transformation. There is Living Faith. It is active, alive, and flows out of our relationship with God and rooted deeply in His word. We need faith to believe God and find that the Word of God produces faith. Remember the words of Paul in Romans 10:17, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
Jesus taught Increasing faith or a faith that grows and develops. Faith like muscles in our bodies grows stronger with use. It is more than just believing that God can it is grabbing hold of the reality that God not only can but does and will. Living and Growing Faith pleases God. Intellectual knowledge does not impress God much. Thrift and business acumen impress Him little, but Faith touches His heart. God is touched by our Faith, our Trust, our Reliance on Him.
I want to pause here and pick this up at least one more time but until then I ask that you consider your Love Quotient and your Faith’s health.
May the Lord bless you richly as you enjoy this day!